**The character names of The Mortal Instruments are owned by Cassandra Clare. The original content, ideas and intellectual property of this story are owned by ddpjclaf, 2010. Please do not copy, reproduce, or translate without express written permission.**
~*~Summary: She's the artsy, outcast daughter of a rich, crooked lawyer. He's the self-absorbed undercover agent assigned to do whatever it takes to get the goods on daddy-even if that means making a play for his feisty daughter. AU/AH/OOC. Lemonade. Probable fluffiness. Cannon C/J coupling. ~*~
~Please read A/N at the bottom for more information.
The incessant ticking of the grandfather clock, nestled in the corner, echoed throughout the cavernous office. Hodge sat behind the colossal mahogany desk, his feet propped on top and his fingers tented under his chin. Normally, the clock's steady beat served as a means to calm him. But not today, not when he was still trying to figure out how to deal with the newest case which lay nestled between the flaps of the manila folder situated on the center of his desk.
He closed his eyes and rubbed his forehead. It wasn't that such cases hadn't crossed his desk before. It was just the near impossibility to find someone who would meet the requirements needed to do this specific job.
The intercom situated near Hodge's foot buzzed and his secretary's voice blared from the speakers, "Mr. Starkweather, your three 'o clock is here."
Hodge lowered his feet and pressed the talk button. "Send her in. Thank you, Amatis."
"Right away, sir."
Hodge stood from his desk, ran his hands down the front of his shirt, and straightened his tie. It wasn't everyday that the Regional Director paid him a visit.
The knob twisted, and with a click, the door swung open. A tall, slender woman stepped inside, her walk smooth and confident. Hodge's eyes trailed the line of her sleek navy dress, all the way up to her shiny black hair which had been twisted neatly into a bun. Startling blue eyes met his as her hand shot out to shake his.
"Mr. Starkweather, it's a pleasure to meet you in person, finally."
Hodge swallowed and took her hand in his, her grip firmer than he expected. "And you as well, Director Lightwood."
"Maryse. Call me Maryse."
"Maryse." He nodded then gestured to the comfortable chair across the desk from him. "Please, have a seat. And, call me Hodge."
"Thank you, Hodge." Maryse smoothed her hands over the back of her dress and sat on the very edge of the chair, her legs crossed and posture straight. "I assume you know why I've asked for this conference with you?" She stared straight into his eyes, her brow raised in question.
Hodge fought to disguise the nervousness the woman brought out in him. "The Morgenstern case."
Maryse nodded and reached for the coffee cup situated in front of her, pausing before her fingers wrapped around the handle. "Is this for me?"
She smiled and lifted the cup to her red lips. After taking a sip and setting it down, she seemed to relax slightly, though not enough to make Hodge feel less anxious. "Yes. Valentine Morgenstern."
Hodge sighed and leaned forward, placing his elbows on the edge of the desk. "While I understand the need to move quickly on this case, I just—I'm not sure this is the best way to go about it."
"Oh?" Maryse lifted a brow. "Do you have another suggestion—one we haven't already tried?"
"No. But . . . is this really what the council feels will get us what we need? I mean, she's practically a child."
"She's nineteen, Hodge. Deemed an adult by every organization that's important."
"Yes, but . . . our agents are much older than that."
"Not all of them."
Hodge frowned. The only agents even close to nineteen would be those still training at the academy.
Maryse leaned forward, tapping her finger against a stack of recruit files shoved to the corner of Hodge's desk. "I have it on good authority you have a team with an outstanding track record. The best scores in practically the entire academy."
Hodge balked, knowing instantly whom she was talking about. "You can't be serious."
He shook his head and stood, needing to move to keep his brain functioning. "That's—that's ludicrous!"
Maryse scowled and stood, keeping the palms of her hands pressed against the desktop and leaning over them. "Are you saying my children aren't good at what they do?"
Hodge's brows rose. "No. Of course not. Alec and Isabelle are outstanding agents; it's just . . . that other one." He grimaced and shook his head once more. "This is a really bad idea."
Maryse's shoulder relaxed and she stood to full height. "Mr. Herondale is, at twenty, probably the best agent we've seen at this academy. His skill is beyond anything we've witnessed in a long time."
"Yes, I agree he's a talented agent, but he's a loose cannon. Completely uncontrollable."
She leaned forward again. "But he can bring to the table exactly what we need in this particular case."
Hodge sighed again, knowing she was right. Herondale definitely had what they needed to knock this case out, but the thought of letting him loose—with a badge no less—made Hodge's eye twitch. A dull pain began in the center of his forehead. He reached up and rubbed it absently. "Are you sure about this?"
"It's the only way."
Letting out a slow breath, he leaned over and pressed the intercom button. "Amatis?"
"Yes, Mr. Starkweather?"
"Could you please locate Agents Lightwood and Herondale."
"Of course, sir. Do you have a message for them?"
"Tell them . . . tell them I need to see them, ASAP." He paused. "And have them bring their paperwork." He sighed, his chest squeezing uncomfortably at the prospect. "They're going on assignment."
For those of you who read my fic, TURBULENCE, you will recognize this as the blurb I put up at the end of ch.27.
This is the beginning of a whole new TMI fic. It will be AU/AH/OOC. It is rated M for a reason, although, as those of you who read my work know, I don't write full lemons-but there will be plenty of "lemonade" (a term I got from a reviewer-Thanks Aimee!). What I mean by lemonade is, there is a certain amount of cirtus, but it has been watered down and a whole lot of sugar has been added. So please, don't anticipate or expect a full lemon, because there won't be one. Although, it does contain probably the douchiest Jace I've ever read—but hey, there may be douchier ones I haven't seen—we'll see.
I'm only posting the prologue for now—since I already pretty much posted it in the A/N of the other fic. I don't plan to start really posting chapters of this until TURBULENCE is getting ready to wrap (which is soon, probably a few more weeks to a month at least). If you're interested in reading more of this, put the story on alert. :)
A special thanks to Lightlacedwithbeauty for taking the time to beta this for me. Love you, girl! XOXO
Thanks for reading! Hope you enjoyed. :)